Alcaraz still trying to perfect his shot selection

Even the world No 1 sometimes makes the wrong choice sometimes

Carlos Alcaraz Antoine Couvercelle / Panoramic

It probably seems a bit churlish to be looking for areas where someone as exciting and already great as Carlos Alcaraz is can still improve, but when he talks about it himself, then we are probably on safe ground.

Sometimes, he makes the wrong choice. There, we said it. (After he said it)

Before you say, well of course he does, he’s a human being and we’re all fallible, hold on. Alcaraz has so many weapons in his arsenal, so many shots in his mind that there are occasions when he doesn’t quite make the right choices. It’s much like Roger Federer when he was young, or Denis Shapovalov still; they have so many options that filtering through them quickly enough to choose the right one is tricky.

Alcaraz: “Sometimes I struggle because of that”

It doesn’t happen often, and rarely proves costly. After all, this is a man who won the US Open last year at 19 and won Wimbledon this summer. And a man who’s been No 1 for much of this year. But it’s a fact that occasionally, he picks the wrong option, a drop shot when it should be a drive, or vice versa and so on.

“I always had that,” he told reporters at Flushing Meadows on Saturday. “When I was young, I’m playing, you know, under-12, under-14 tournaments, in my mind come a lot of different things before hitting the shot.

“Probably the dropshot, big forehand, go to the net, you know, multiple things and sometimes it was tough to find the right one.

“For me, you know, when I was younger, it was difficult sometimes. But right now I think most of the time I find the right one, but sometimes I struggle, you know, to hit good shots because of that.”

Chryslene Caillaud / Panoramic

Evans: “If anything he plays too many shots”

Alcaraz eased past Dan Evans in four sets on Saturday, a hugely entertaining match with numerous incredible rallies, with the Spaniard’s court coverage there for everyone to see.

At times, Evans could only laugh at some of his speed around the court and shot-making ability but the Briton also caused him problems, rushing him into mistakes. And the No 28 seed also spotted the odd wrong choice from his opponent.

“He hits the ball heavy,” Evans said. “I think it’s very difficult to get the ball by him, and his variation, I definitely didn’t know what’s sort of coming next. That sort of sets you on the back foot and it’s difficult to anticipate and see what’s next. So that’s difficult.

“He obviously backs you up and then can play the drop shot can hit it through you can come in. If anything, he probably plays too many shots. He let me out of jail a few times playing the wrong shot, which was good for me but on a different day, if he’s putting it all together, he is difficult to stop now.

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